Letting Go of the Rail
Image: Ed Yourdon
Sometimes life gives you a big nudge and asks you to listen. Tonight my nasty gremlin voice was telling me that I didn’t need to go for a walk after dinner. The couch and Netflix was calling and looked rather enticing.
However my sensible (and much smarter) voice wasn’t having any of it, and encouraged me to slip on my shoes, pick up my keys and head for the seawall.
Five minutes into my walk I met a women who was about my age. We’re not talking Spring chicken or strangers to our hairdressers’ “cover the grey formula #99″.
This amazing women was doing something I’ve never in my wildest dreams imagined myself doing—she was learning to ride a unicycle.
She had figured out how to balance and propel herself. She was directing that one wheeled anomaly to follow a straight path with the help of her left arm graciously positioned for balance. Her right arm was holding onto the seawall railing for support. Which she did not need.
This inspiring woman wasn’t ready to make the commitment to let go yet. She thought she wasn’t ready. I could clearly see she was. She was at the transitional point when it is time to take the leap of faith.
Sometimes we linger at that pivitol point too long. We don’t trust that whether we fall or race ahead that we will get to the place we are meant to be.
I’m going to throw in a big generalization here. It is often women who are hesitant to leap. They think they must get all of their paperclips organized and lined up facing in the correct direction before they give themselves permission to jump.
And before you send me finger-wagging emails, yes, I too know fearless women.
I left the woman unicyclist to her own devices and not five minutes later a man on a unicycle blasted by me at rocket speed. Okay, rocket unicycle speed. What are the chances of seeing two unicyclist in one evening (I’m from Vancouver where the unicycle population is very small). Only to provide fodder to my long held observation.
Men do not hold onto the railing for support as long as women do. They don’t care as much if the clips all face north and whether they are nicely spaced. The men I know and those I observe usually jump in and throw caution to the wind. They sometimes get it right, other times wobble, and sometimes crash and burn. But they believe in themselves and simply do it.
Again, generalizing and please no finger-wagging.
I’m glad that the smart voice won out this evening.
And to the woman unicyclist—please let go of the rail.
To Your Voice,
I share the nuances of public speaking and give a gentle nudge for those who want to take the leap into giving great presentations. Join us won’t you?